Itching in your private parts is an embarrassing topic to discuss, but it’s more common than you think.
While both men and women can experience itching in their private areas at some point in their life, women are more prone to this problem.
Genital areas are the most delicate areas of our bodies. And itching in the sensitive areas like the vagina and vulva can be very uncomfortable. It can drive the sufferer insane with the constant urge to itch.
Some common reasons behind this problem include yeast infection, irritants (any sort of chemical, whether acidic or basic, coming in contact with the private parts), bacterial vaginosis, menopause, skin diseases (like eczema and psoriasis), vulvar cancer and sexually transmitted diseases.
Diseases like diabetes, tuberculosis and cancer; infestation of pinworms; and drugs like steroids, antibiotics and anticancer drugs increase the chance for infection in the private parts.
Sometimes itching can be due to poor hygiene or simply an allergy to undergarments made with polyester. Excessive stress and a weak immune system also might act as a catalyst to this problem.
Apart from itching, there can be other symptoms like vaginal pain, redness, slight bleeding in the area, foul and smelly discharge from the vagina, and painful urination in some cases.
If you are suffering from itching in your private parts, it’s time to take serious action. In most cases, you can treat the problem without any medical intervention. There are several effective and simple home remedies to treat itching down there.
Here are the top 10 home remedies for itching in your private parts.
Maintaining proper hygiene is a prerequisite to prevent itching in your private parts. Proper hygiene will prevent harmful microbes from growing in the sensitive area and causing a yeast or bacterial infection.
Also, good hygiene practices help maintain the proper pH level of the vaginal area.
- Take a shower daily, but don’t wash or scrub your private parts excessively, as it results in dry skin that in turn causes more itching.
- After a bowel movement, remember to always wipe from front to back.
- Change menstrual pads and tampons frequently during periods to prevent itching.
- Avoid douching at any cost.
- Avoid products that have fragrances added to them, such as toilet paper, bubble bath and laundry detergent.
- Avoid using soaps and feminine hygiene sprays to clean your vagina. The vagina is a self-cleaning organ and water is sufficient to clean it.
2. Cold Compress
For quick and fast relief from itching in your genital area, try a cold compress.
It can relieve itching by numbing the nerves that cause the itching sensation. It will also help reduce swelling and inflammation.
- Wrap some ice in a clean cloth and lay the compress on the itchy areas for 5 to 10 minutes at a time. Repeat as needed.
- If ice cubes are too cold to use, you can soak a cotton cloth in cold water and apply it on the affected area for a few minutes. Take a short break and do it again.
When it comes to home remedies for itching in your private parts, garlic is very effective. This is mainly due to its excellent antibiotic and antimicrobial properties.
It also improves the immune system and helps the body fight infections.
A 2005 study published in Antimicrobial Agents and Chemotherapy highlights the antifungal activity of fresh garlic extract against C. albicans biofilms (1).
A 2014 study published in the Avicenna Journal of Phytomedicine explained the therapeutic benefits of garlic in combating various microbial infections (2).
Another 2014 study published in the Iranian Red Crescent Medical Journal found that garlic could be a suitable alternative for metronidazole in treating bacterial vaginosis in those interested in herbal medicines or those affected by side effects of metronidazole (3).
- For topical use: Dilute a few drops of garlic oil in 1 teaspoon of vitamin E oil. Apply it on the affected area. Wait 10 minutes, then rinse it off with warm water. Use this remedy twice daily for a few weeks.
- For consumption: Chew 3 raw garlic cloves daily. Alternatively, you can take garlic supplements after consulting your doctor.
4. Greek Yogurt
For mild itching in the private parts, Greek yogurt is an excellent natural remedy.
Greek yogurt is a probiotic, as it contains live bacteria, such as lactobacillus acidophilus. These bacteria are essential to creating a healthy environment in your vagina. They can help treat an overgrowth of microbes and help maintain the pH balance.
A 2006 review of research published in the Journal of Antimicrobial Chemotherapy found that some probiotics can be effective against C. albicans (4).
A 2012 study published in the Journal of Maternal-Fetal & Neonatal Medicine reports the effectiveness of using yogurt to treat the symptoms of bacterial vaginosis (5).
- For topical use: You can apply raw Greek yogurt directly in your vagina. To apply, soak a tampon in plain, Greek yogurt and insert it into your vagina. Leave it for 2 hours, and repeat the process twice a day until the itchiness stops.
- For consumption: Eat 1 to 2 cups of Greek yogurt daily. However, make sure that the yogurt doesn’t contain added sugar, which can lead to growth of the candida fungus.
5. Apple Cider Vinegar
To stop the itching sensation in your private parts, you can use raw, unfiltered apple cider vinegar too.
It contains antifungal and antibacterial properties, thus it can help kill the microbes that can cause an infection in the sensitive area and lead to intense itching. It also helps restore the natural pH balance of your vagina.
For topical use:
- Soak a tampon in a diluted mixture of equal parts of raw, unfiltered apple cider vinegar and water. Insert it into your vagina for 15 to 20 minutes. Remove the tampon, rinse the genital area with warm water and dry it completely. Do it twice daily.
- Alternatively, add 2 cups of raw, unfiltered apple cider vinegar to your bathwater and soak in it for about 20 minutes.
- Add 1 tablespoon of raw, unfiltered apple cider vinegar and 1 teaspoon of raw honey to a glass of warm water. Drink it twice daily.
6. Tea Tree Oil
To get relief from itching in the genital area, use tea tree oil.
It contains strong antibacterial properties. Tea tree oil not only helps relieve itching, it’s also effective in treating a yeast infection.
A 2006 study published in Clinical Microbiology Reviews reports that the medicinal properties of tea tree oil are due to a chemical compound called terpinen-4-ol, which is effective against germs causing bacterial and yeast infections (6).
A 2015 study published in Phytotherapy Research confirms the efficacy of tea tree oil to prevent acute or recurrent vaginal candidiasis (7).
For topical use only:
- Add 4 to 6 drops of tea tree oil to your bathwater. Soak in this water for 10 to 15 minutes. Do this once daily until you get relief from the itching.
- Alternatively, add 4 to 6 drops of tea tree oil to 2 tablespoons of aloe vera gel and mix well. Apply this mixture on your genital area. Wait 15 minutes, then rinse it off with water. Do it twice daily.
7. Coconut Oil
Coconut oil is also effective in treating infections in the private parts that can cause intense itching.
It is rich in antiviral, antifungal and antimicrobial properties that help fight the growth of microbes. Also, coconut oil taken internally helps boost the immune system.
The fatty acid content of coconut oil helps soothe itchy skin and even helps fight vaginal dryness.
A 2009 study published in the Journal of Medicinal Food confirms the effectiveness of virgin coconut oil in combating fungal infections (8).
A 2016 study published in Scientifica reports that coconut oil is effective against C. albicans (9).
For topical use:
- Apply coconut oil around the affected area and allow it to sit for 30 minutes. Wash it off with warm water and pat dry the area. Do it 2 or 3 times daily.
- Add 2 tablespoons of coconut oil to 3 cups of lukewarm water. Use this mixture to rinse your private parts, 2 or 3 times a day.
- Consume 2 tablespoons of coconut oil daily by adding it to your salad, soup or use it for cooking.
8. Boric Acid
Boric acid contains antifungal agents and is very effective in treating yeast infections of the private parts that cause intense itching.
In a 2011 scientific review of studies published in the Journal of Women’s Health, experts suggest that boric acid is a safe, alternative, economical option for women with recurrent and chronic symptoms of vaginitis (11).
For topical use only:
- Add ¼ teaspoon of boric acid to 1 cup of water. Mix it well. Rinse your private parts with this solution. Do this twice daily until the itching subsides.
- Alternatively, you can use boric acid vaginal suppositories that are available in the market. Use it as directed.
Caution: Do not take boric acid orally. If you’re pregnant, you should not use boric acid in any form.
9. Oregano Oil
Oregano oil is another good home remedy for keeping a check on the growth of microbes, especially candida growth that causes yeast infections and intense itching.
A 2001 study published in Molecular and Cellular Biochemistry found that wild oregano oil could stop or slow the growth of C. albicans, depending on the dosage used (12).
- For topical use: Mix 2 or 3 drops of oregano oil into 1 tablespoon of virgin coconut oil. Apply it on the itchy area. Leave it for 2 hours before rinsing it off with warm water. Repeat the remedy once or twice daily until any itchiness and signs of infection have gone.
- For consumption: Add 5 drops of oregano oil to a glass of warm water. Drink it 1 or 2 times a day.
Caution: Do not take oregano oil if you take blood thinners for another health condition. Also, avoid oregano oil if you are pregnant.
10. Indian Lilac
Indian lilac, also known as neem, is a great home remedy for genital infections.
It contains strong antifungal and antibacterial properties that help fight the infection and reduce itching and other discomforts.
For topical use:
- Put a handful of neem leaves to 4 cups of water and boil it for 10 minutes. Allow the water to cool down, and use it to rinse your private parts twice daily.
- Alternatively, mix a few drops of neem oil in coconut oil and dab it on your private parts. Gently wipe it off after 20 minutes. Do it 2 or 3 times a day.
- You can drink neem tea a couple of times daily, or take neem capsules after consulting your doctor.
- Avoid whirlpool baths, as they help bacteria grow in the vagina all the more.
- When suffering from itchiness in your private parts, try sleeping without wearing underwear.
- Only wear cotton underwear, as the fabric is light in weight and allows the area to breathe as well.
- Avoid thong underwear and nylon or silk underwear.
- As much as possible, wear loose clothing to allow more air flow around the infected area and to prevent a buildup of moisture.
- Drink an ample amount of water throughout the day to help your body flush toxins out of your system and balance the pH levels in the body.
- Don’t be tempted to scratch the affected area, which will only cause more itchiness and redness.
- Eat a healthy and balanced diet, and avoid junk food.
- Avoid consuming refined carbohydrates and sugar.
- Consume lots of fermented foods, such as kefir, probiotic yogurt and miso.
- Cut down on smoking and drinking alcohol.
- Avoid any triggering allergens that may cause itching in the private parts.
- If you face itching while having intercourse, wait a few days to have sex, until the itching calms down.
- Maintain good hygiene, always wash your vagina and keep your vagina dry.
- After exercising or swimming, take a shower immediately.
- Effects of Fresh Garlic Extract on Candida albicans Biofilms. Antimicrobial Agents and Chemotherapy. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC538912/. Published January 2005.
- Garlic: a review of potential therapeutic effects. Avicenna Journal of Phytomedicine. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC4103721/. Published 2014.
- Comparing the Therapeutic Effects of Garlic Tablet and Oral Metronidazole on Bacterial Vaginosis: A Randomized Controlled Clinical Trial. Iranian Red Crescent Medical Journal. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC4166107. Published July 2014.
- Probiotics for prevention of recurrent vulvovaginal candidiasis: a review | Journal of Antimicrobial Chemotherapy | Oxford Academic. OUP Academic. https://academic.oup.com/jac/article/58/2/266/721575. Published June 21, 2006.
- Comparative efficacy of probiotic yoghurt and clindamycin in treatment of bacterial vaginosis in pregnant women: a randomized clinical trial. Journal of Maternal-Fetal & Neonatal Medicine. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/21854132. Published July 2012.
- Melaleuca alternifolia (Tea Tree) Oil: a Review of Antimicrobial and Other Medicinal Properties. Clinical Microbiology Reviews. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC1360273/. Published January 2006.
- In Vitro Activity of Tea Tree Oil Vaginal Suppositories against Candida spp. and Probiotic Vaginal Microbiota. Phytotherapy Research. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/26235937. Published October 2015.
- In Vitro Antimicrobial Properties of Coconut Oil on Candida Species in Ibadan, Nigeria. A Definition for Wildness | Ecopsychology. https://www.liebertpub.com/doi/abs/10.1089/jmf.2006.1209.
- Comparison of Antimicrobial Activity of Chlorhexidine, Coconut Oil, Probiotics, and Ketoconazole on Candida albicans Isolated in Children with Early Childhood Caries: An In Vitro Study. International Scholarly Research Notices. https://www.hindawi.com/journals/scientifica/2016/7061587/abs. Published March 14, 2016.
- Boric acid addition to suppressive antimicrobial therapy for recurrent bacterial vaginosis. Sexually Transmitted Diseases. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/19704395. Published November 2009.
- Boric acid for recurrent vulvovaginal candidiasis: the clinical evidence. Journal of Women’s Health. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/21774671. Published August 2011.
- Antifungal activities of origanum oil against Candida albicans. Molecular and Cellular Biochemistry. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/11855736. Published December 2001.